How Nintendo Labo Is Doing In Japan

Last year, it was seemingly impossible to get a Nintendo Switch in Japan. The console was always selling out. What about Nintendo Labo? Right now, you can easily pick one off the shelf.

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Well, it’s made of cardboard, so Nintendo can make a whole bunch, right?

True, it’s not as complex to make as game hardware, but that doesn’t mean mass-produced, analog toys can’t sell out in Japan. Nearly a decade ago, when Beyblade was hugely popular in Japan, the plastic “stadiums,” which were really just cheap plastic dishes, were sold out everywhere in Japan. You could not get one. They probably cost nothing to make, but the demand was too high.

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According to Famitsu’s figures, the Variety Kit is doing better than the Robot one, which isn’t surprising. It’s currently in the top five on the sales chart. Nintendo has sold 40 to 60 percent of its stock. Not bad!

Illustration for article titled How Nintendo Labo Is Doing In Japan em/em
Image: Famitsu

The Robot Kit is number 17 on Famitsu’s sales chart and has sold through 20 to 40 percent of its stock. These aren’t good retail sales numbers. Shame because that Robot Kit looks rad.

Illustration for article titled How Nintendo Labo Is Doing In Japan em/em
Image: Famitsu
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As blog Hachima points out, many Japanese retailers have been announcing that they have Nintendo Labo stock, writing 在庫あります (zaiko arimasu) or “We have it in stock.”

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And, for example, it’s in stock at all these Yodobashi shops. (Next to the green circle, it reads “In stock” in Japanese.)

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Keep in mind that these are sales numbers for bricks and mortar retailers, which are still incredibly important in the Japanese sales market.

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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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DISCUSSION

rapid diminuendo

Labo is out of the question for me because I live in a small apartment and basically need to get rid of something if I want to bring new things into my home. And I’m not replacing my stuff with a cardboard toy. I imagine some people in Japan feel the same way.